July 1st, 2011

wood cat

"Better half"?

Idle question for anyone who's around on a U.S. holiday weekend.

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(Note: because this poll asks about gender identity, I've made it entirely anonymous; no-one can see who answered what, even me (though the resulting poll text may be ambiguous about that). Also, if you aren't logged in to DW through a DW account or Open ID (such as LJ), you can't fill out the poll, but you can comment. If you want a DW invite code, just ask.)

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wood cat

Readercon schedule

Mine, that is; you can also see a PDF program grid and the full item descriptions.

Friday July 15, 6:00 PM, Salon F: The Dissonant Power of Alternative Voicing.
Glenn Grant, Paul Levinson, Kate Nepveu, Kenneth Schneyer (leader), Howard Waldrop.

At Readercon 21, there was a panel discussion on the use of documentary text in fiction to lend "authority" to the voice. It can be argued, however, that alternative voicing strategies, particularly the use of documents, framing narratives, etc., are powerful precisely because they are not authoritative. Readers know that they are reading an incomplete version of the document, and consequently are led to imagine what is not being said. What lurks in the interstices between texts? What is this particular document-writer failing to say, or deliberately omitting? This panel will explore the use of dissonance occasioned by indirect voicing to make the reader a fuller, more active participant in the process of creating the fiction.

Get the bake sale set up, and then run to:

Saturday July 16, 10:00 AM, Salon G: Paranormal Romance and Otherness.
Victoria Janssen (leader), Alaya Dawn Johnson, Toni L.P. Kelner, Kate Nepveu, JoSelle Vanderhooft.

In science fiction, aliens are often used to explore aspects of otherness in our own society, such as gender and race. How are the mythical creatures of paranormal romance and urban fantasy being used to explore these same issues? What are the advantages and the pitfalls for writers?

Sunday July 17, 11:00 AM, Salon F: Borders (if Any) Between Fan Fiction and "Original Fiction".
Gwynne Garfinkle, Eileen Gunn, Kate Nepveu, Madeleine Robins, Kenneth Schneyer (leader).

Maguire's Wicked books. Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Chabon's The Final Solution. Kessel's "Pride and Prometheus." Resnick's "The Bride of Frankenstein." Reed's "A Woman's Best Friend." Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast. All of these stories employ characters, settings, and pre-existing plots from other authors, yet these authors (with the possible exception of Chabon) would probably deny that what they have written is "fan fiction." Lee Goldberg has spent thousands of words explaining why his dozens of authorized television tie-in novels are not "fan fiction." Is there an actual, definable difference between fan fiction and original fiction, or this just another instance, like Margaret Atwood's, of authors rejecting a label or genre in order to remain "respectable" or "marketable?"

I am very excited about these, but also a little apprehensive because I am swamped at work and so preparation time is going to be tough. Feel free to comment on any of these, especially if you won't be there (I promise to give you credit)!

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